Futurama Comics #1
Title: Episode 1: Monkey Sea, Monkey Doom!
Writer: Eric Rogers, with Bill Morrison
Art: James Lloyd, Steve Steere Jr.
Okay, with the release of Futurama Comics in New Zealand, I decided to pick up
a copy. And since I already review Simpsons Comics for another site, The
Springfield Files, I might as well review Futurama Comics for The Leela
Zone, too. Roll review:
The basic premise is that, while digging a large hole to hide one of Professor
Farnsworth's inventions that he's hiding from the police, Fry, Bender and Leela
find a time capsule from the 20th Century. This capsule has loads of old junk
in it, and Fry, seeing this, begins to miss all the things he used to have. While
reading an old comic, he finds an ad for some sea monkeys, and purchases some
from an old store that sells 20th Century stuff. Unfortunately, the sea monkeys
don't impress his friends as much as he wanted them to; at least not until they
come into contact with the professor's gamma radiation, and begin to grow, and
grow, AND GROW!
Now, when compared to the Futurama television show, this issue is very much
like it. The story is typical of Futurama's quirky style, and all the characters
act exactly how they should. Simpsons Comics didn't quite hit its stride in its
first issue, but Futurama Comics #1 does. The story is both interesting and funny,
with some classic Bender lines and hilarious Zoidberg moments. Also, it doesn't
just focus on laughs. While Bender and Zoidberg provide much of the humour, Fry
provides a little bit of emotion. You can't help but feel sorry for him. It's
not as emotional as episodes like Luck of the Fryish and Parasites Lost,
but there's still a good amount in there. This story is primarily an action one
though, particularly towards the end when we see the giant mutated sea monkeys
attacking New New York in Godzilla fashion. All the while, humour doesn't wane
either, with Zoidberg making the sea monkey's his new friends being a highlight.
Moving along, the art is very, very good, I must say. Apart from the fact that
Fry and Amy's skin is toned a tad too dark, the colours are very well done, and
they fit in nicely with the show. What's even more impressive is the detail, and
amount of it. While Simpsons Comics tend to be a tad sparse most of the time,
this issue has the panels and pages filled to the brim with action; you can almost
see the scenes moving. I suppose the best word to describe it is "busy", which
fits in well with the show. Let's face it, NNYC is a fast-paced, bustling metropolis,
and to see a street scene or shot outside the Planet Express building filled with
flying cars and spaceships, and aliens, robots and strange people is very fitting.
Kudos to the artists, they've done an excellent job. Also, the sea monkeys ad
in the comic Fry sees is a brilliantly reconstructed drawing of the real ad that
appeared in '70s comics. I should know, I have some old comics that belonged to
my older brother with that very ad in them. Overall, I think the art has impressed
me the most.
To summarise, a brilliant start to the series, a series I hope lasts a long
time, and I hope continues to put out quality stories. In fact, I can honestly
say that I found this far better than most Simpsons Comics. It ties in excellently
with the TV show, is funny, has a good story, portrays the characters brilliantly,
and has fantastic art. Also included is a two-page piece called "The Fry That
Time Forgot" that contains some character design drawings of Fry that Matt Groening
and several artists did while designing Fry. This is a piece of literature that
every Futurama fan should own, you won't regret purchasing it, trust me.
Most Memorable Moment: So hard to choose, it's all good stuff. Probably
Zoidberg threatening to go on a hunger strike.
Worst Moment: None. Flawless issue!